Not too long ago, the Philadelphia Phillies sat near the bottom of the organizational prospect rankings.

Slowly, they are moving up that list.

Ever since Dave Dombrowski and Sam Fuld paired up and made changes in the scouting department it's slowly starting to build back up.

97.3 ESPN logo
Get our free mobile app

So much so that The Athletic’s Keith Law has the Phillies farm system as the 19th-best across the MLB heading into the new season after ranking 22nd last year.

The Phillies have some sneaky depth here, with a very talented Low-A Clearwater roster in 2023 buttressing the system, and a solid mix of pitching and position players across all levels. They might end up with a pair of stars in Justin Crawford (No. 43) and, if he comes back 100 percent from Tommy John surgery, Andrew Painter (No. 34), while they have significant depth on both sides of the ball to make some small trades.

Highlighting the team’s farm system are pitcher Andrew Painter and outfielder Justin Crawford, who Law pegged at 34 and 43, respectively, in his MLB prospects ranking.

Crawford spent time at two lower levels, Clearwater and Jersey Shore, but was not ranked last year.  He makes the list this year after playing 87 games with the two teams. The 20-year-old batted .332 with three home runs, 64 RBIs, and 47 stolen bases.

Crawford was the Phillies’ first-round pick in 2022 out of a Las Vegas high school; he’s the son of Carl Crawford and cousin of J.P. Crawford. He’s a long way from being a finished product, but his tools are so good that he can outplay a lot of his deficiencies. He’s a 70 runner who can really play center field, while at the plate he’s already posted high exit velocities and can show big power the other way in BP that’s starting to emerge in games. He spent most of last year with Low-A Clearwater and hit .344/.399/.478 in 69 games with 40 steals before a late-season promotion to High A. He posted those solid numbers even with a lot of inconsistency in the swing that can cause him to get on top of the ball too often. He’s still got 10-15 pounds of room to fill out, which could make him a 20-homer, 50-steal guy who plays plus or better defense in center. He might be a level-a-year guy, though, as it takes time for him to fill out.

Dombrowski recently said he didn't expect Painter to pitch in 2024, dropping from no. 13 overall in the prospect rankings to No.34.

When healthy, Painter shows No. 1 starter stuff, bumping 99 mph and sitting 94-97 with a hammer to make Thor jealous in his curveball, along with an above-average changeup he hadn’t begun to use enough and a slider that’s probably an unnecessary fourth pitch right now. He comes from a high three-quarters arm slot that, combined with his 6-7 height, makes it a very uncomfortable look for hitters on both sides of the plate. He’d also shown better control in his time in A-ball than he had even as an amateur, along with the ability to separate those two breaking balls in the curve and slider and use them in different spots.

The rest of the NL East has the Nats at No. 11, the Mets at No. 15, Atlanta at No. 26, and Miami at No. 28.

Concerts Coming to Atlantic City in 2024



More From 97.3 ESPN